Persistent Invisible Fields is an interactive new media installation. The user is equipped with a circa-1950 Civil Defense radiation meter and proceeds to examine a sequence of pedestals each presenting an everyday household artifact. Each is rendered in pure white; anonymous and generic. [At this point I have not made a final decision on what the exact objects will be but they could be a hair dryer, a light bulb, a telephone, some batteries, etc. ] The user examines the sculptures with the aid of the meter. Some objects will register as 'radioactive': the needle on meter will swing to the red and a high-pitched buzz will be heard.
The natural world is permeated with invisible fields. All around us flows an infinite number of currents, between and through all things, from an infinite number of sources to an infinite number of sinks. In our synthetic world there is an increasing suspicion that everywhere there is something invisible. From all things flow streams of the minute physical world, unseen and unfelt, but ready and willing to be observed. If only we could don a pair of magic glasses that could reveal to us the hidden nature of our surroundings. In this installation, the radiation meter is a pair of magic glasses that allows the unseen nature of the things, that we think we know well, to be revealed. What we take for granted is shown to be something else; invisible fields exist everywhere.
Persistent Invisible Fields is about confirming a suspicion; about making a discovery; about revealing the true nature of the hidden. It is about the role that technology plays in our exploration of our environment. It is about the role technology plays in creating our environment; in shaping our environment; in polluting our environment.
One role that artists play in society is that of asker of questions. I feel that as a maker of interactive art that as well as asking questions I enable others to ask questions themselves. Interactivity allows the thoughts of two people to come together to form something new. As an artist I am always amazed and surprised at the thoughts, questions and suppositions that come from users of my installations. I think that the mixing of elements and interactions of Persistent Invisible Fields will yield many new ideas.
Persistent Invisible Fields has been accepted for the Aurora
Universalis show that is being sponsored by InterAccess. The show will
occur in the late fall.